Graphic Narratives of Migration Workshop

On May 27-28, 2022, the Graphic Narratives of Migration research project brought together an interdisciplinary team of 39 UBC and Concordia migration scholars and Vancouver-based community practitioners with 9 local graphic artists to collaborate in the creation of a collection of migration narratives in comics form. The workshop was held at the UBC Centre for Migration Studies which is situated on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Musqueam people.

For most scholars and community practitioners, working with the medium of comics was a new experience. It required faculty, graduate students, and practitioners to move outside their comfort zone and let go of conventional notions of “expertise.” For most graphic artists, collaborating with scholars was an equally novel experience.

After a morning of learning about comics creation from UK-based graphic novelist Kate Evans, University of East Anglia-based comics scholar Frederik Bryn Køhlert, and UBC-based cartoonist and educator Sarah Leavitt, participants spent the remainder of the workshop in 9 working groups. Each group developed a storyline related to mobility and belonging and started the process of comics creation.

The event was a success and we thank all participants and artists for their enthusiastic engagement!

Check out these videos from the event and sample pages from the comics-in-progress to find out more!

More videos from the event:

Kate Evans: Keynote Address: “Comics, Graphic Reportage, and Mass Migration”

Frederik Byrn Køhlert – “How to Think Narrative in Comics”.

All other CMS recordings can be found on our YouTube Channel

Research Team:
Antje Ellermann | Political Science; Director, UBC Centre for Migration Studies
Frederik Byrn Køhlert | Art, Media and American Studies, University of East Anglia
Sarah Leavitt | Creative Writing, UBC
Mireille Paquet | Political Science, Concordia University

Project Assistant: Melika Kajeh
Gabriele Dumpys Woolever
Videos: Sebastian Hill-Esbrand

We gratefully acknowledge the generous financial support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the UBC Centre for Migration Studies.